1. A lazy man may be compared to a filthy stone,
And everyone hisses at his dishonor.+
2. A lazy man may be compared to the filth of manure;
Everyone who picks it up will shake it off his hand.
*A Father's Disgrace*
3. The disgrace of a father is begetting an undisciplined son.
And a foolish daughter is born to his loss.+
4. A sensible daughter will bring an inheritance to her husband,
But a shameful one is a grief to her father.
5. An arrogant daughter shames both father and husband,
And she will be dishonored by both.
6. An ill-timed statement is like mournful music,
But the chastising and instruction of wisdom are always timely.
7. He who teaches a fool is like one who glues pottery together,
Or like trying to arouse one from a sound sleep.
8. He who tells something to a fool tells it to a drowsy man,
And at the end he will say, "What is it?"
9. If children live honestly, and have wherewithal,
They shall cover the baseness of their parents.
10. But children, being haughty, through disdain and want of nurture
Stain the nobility of their kindred.
11. Weep for a dead man, for he left the light behind;
But weep over a fool, for he left intelligence behind.
Weep gladly for a dead man, because he is at rest;
But the life of the fool is worse than death.+
12. Mourning for a dead man lasts seven days,
But mourning for a fool or an ungodly man lasts all his life.
13. Do not hold a conversation with a fool,
And do not visit with a senseless man.
Beware of him, so as to avoid trouble,
And you will not be defiled when he shakes himself off.
Stay away from him, and you will find rest
And not be exhausted by his insanity.+
14. What will be heavier than lead?
And what will be his name but "Fool"?
15. Sand, salt, and a piece of iron are easier to bear
Than a senseless man.
16. A wooden beam bound together in a building
Will not be broken loose in an earthquake;
So a heart strengthened by reasonable counsel
Will not be afraid in a crisis.
17. A heart settled on intelligent thought
Is like a plaster decoration on a smooth wall.
18. As fences set on a high place will not stand firm against the wind,
So a cowardly heart in the thought of a fool
Cannot stand firm against any kind of fear.
19. He who pokes his eye will cause tears to fall,
And he who pierces a heart reveals its feeling.
20. Throwing a rock at birds scares them away,
And disgracing a friend will break up a friendship.
21. If you draw a sword against a friend,
Do not despair, for a restoration of friendship is possible.
22. If you open your mouth against a friend,
Do not worry, for reconciliation is possible.
But as for reviling or arrogance or revealing secrets or a treacherous blow-
with behavior like this any friend will flee.+
23. Gain your neighbor's trust when his is poor,
So you may be fulfilled with him when he prospers.
Stand by him in his time of trouble,
Then when he gets his inheritance, you may share it with him.
24. As the smoke and vapor of a furnace precede a fire,
So abuses precede bloodshed.
25. I will not be ashamed to shelter a friend,
And I will not hide from his face.
26. If anything bad happens to me because of him,
Everyone who hears it will beware of him.
27. Who will set guard over my mouth,
And a prudent seal over my lips,
That I may not fall because of them,
And that my tongue may not destroy me?+
+22:1 - A powerful condemnation of laziness. The filthy stone was used like toilet paper - which explains 22:2.
+22:3-6 - Because the father is ultimately responsible for the discipline of children, St. Paul issues a helpful word in Eph 6:4.
+22:11 - The concept of rest for the dead suggests a life after death, not a cessation of existence.
+22:13 - Close contact with a fool can defile a person, and his influence is an exhausting irritation.
+22:22 - St. John Chrysostom has a lengthy discourse on friendship in which he quotes from this verse, listing the evil actions that destroy friendship: "reproaching...and revealing of a secret, and a treacherous wound." He goes on to say, "For there is nothing good without friendship...so let there be a man having ten thousand talents and another a hundred friends: the latter is more rich in resources than the former."
+22:27: This passage amplifies Ps 104:3, which is sung at Vespers.